Cartoon Network is inviting college undergrads from across the country to create original, 15-second animated shorts inspired by the immersive world of O.K. KO! Let’s Be Heroes during its inaugural Animation Jam. Set for July 9-11 in Burbank, California, the jam will provide young toon talent with the necessary production tools and a crew of mentors (including O.K. KO! creator Ian Jones-Quartey) to give them three days of full-time artist work experience.
Jones-Quartey’s original short, Lakewood Plaza Turbo, was generated from Cartoon Network Studio’s acclaimed Shorts Program and follows champion-in-training KO and his buddies as they battle evil Lord Boxman. The mobile game O.K. KO! later launched accompanied by animated shorts to view on Cartoon Network’s digital platforms, with each short coming from different animation studios offering their own unique perspectives.
Selected teams of graduating seniors and Cartoon Network Studios interns at the Animation Jam will work together at the studio’s computer workstations complete with a Cintiq, Adobe Flash and Adobe Photoshop to create their shorts. Jones-Quartey, supervising director Toby Jones and other CN animators will be on hand to help guide the teams as students select a concept at random to inspire their short. On Monday, July 11, the final animation fruits of the jam will be showcased as an opportunity to share and collaborate, as well as meet artists from other CN shows.
The eight teams include students and interns selected by their schools: University of Southern California; School of Visual Arts; California State University, Fullerton; Laguna College of Art and Design; California Institute of the Arts; San Jose State University; Maryland Institute College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; Savannah College of Art and Design; and Exceptional Minds, the first American computer animation studio and non-profit digital arts school for young adults on the autism spectrum.
The July event follows CN’s successful Game Jam in Portland, Oregon earlier this year, which brought together 200 indie developers who created their own games based on the heroes of Lakewood Plaza Turbo. Their work will help inspire future iteration of the property, and the winning team will be awarded a fully funded project.